What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the debut release of Outlawed #1! Next to just about everything X-Men right now, Outlawed is one of my most anticipated books from Marvel. When Champions came to a close last year, fans were crushed. However, at that same time Jim Zub reassured us that Marvel still had big plans for these young heroes. Well, it doesn’t get bigger than the trouble they have now gotten themselves into as the powers that be have decided the world has had enough of teen heroes.
Now with all the hype that this book is exploding from the pages of INCOMING, it goes without saying that we need to answer the question of accessibility for a book like this. Personally, I didn’t find that INCOMING was a must-buy. When that is the case for a book that big, you have to go into what it sets up with the intention of making sure that everyone is moving forward on the same page. As in understanding why this is happening in the wake of a devastating tragedy, and what exactly it means for the United States to pass a law that outlaws teen heroes. So with that said, did this creative team nail that in this first issue? I would say they handled this just fine. First off, we got to see the trial in which this law was decided. They used their time wisely to show us how the Champions argued their case, how other notable heroes argued in their defense, and how they were being turned against for what happened.
From there, this first issue befitted from them giving us a full scene of what happened to put this in motion. It mattered for us that we could see events play out in full depth. This had to be some kind of trouble which caused a casualty or too much damage. Unfortunately for these young heroes it was a combination of both, and not at all how you would have imagined it. Off the bat, the job they took on was good for the way it stuck to their mission statement. Still worrying ground-level problems, things which involve protecting the youth, and the word as a whole. After that, the kind of danger they faced taking on this job was worthy of the team this has evolved into. Initially one would be worried with how many heroes were involved, though it made sense once the trouble hit.
The only issue I found in this was that despite the need to put the Champions in this position, still it was hard to believe that even now they would find difficulty being on the same wavelength about how they handle situations. This team has been through a lot to have gotten in their own way how they did. Of course the destination is what mattered most when all was said and done, but still you have to stay true to the development these characters went through in their last run.
The combination of Kim Jacinto and Espen Grundetjern was an excellent choice for art team here. For a book like this, you want art which captured the youthful energy of these teen heroes, and these two nailed the imagery they brought forth. Jacinto from start to finish had command of these characters and the way that their emotions played into every action, reaction, and response to what was unfolding. These are teens, so the expectation is that everything they say and do is going to be met with a lot of passion whether it is positively received or negatively. What impressed me more than that was the detail that Jacinto was able to bring out in her pencils. There was a lot going on here between the number of character involved, the scale of the battle, and even the settings which must have taken some patience and attention to render the way she did. Aside from this, Grundetjern did a wonderful job for the way that the art was able to pop through bold and flashy colors. This was an explosive battle, and these are teens who go all in. The colors were tame when they had to be, and then jumped right out at you when the action hit.
Marvel has not forgotten their young heroes. It was only a matter of time before the world did not either. Unfortunately for the Champions, they aren’t so forgiving when there has been one disaster too many for them to overlook. Of course there must be more to this than what we are seeing on the surface, but the purpose of this first issue was to get us excited for what’s to come with these drastic changes to the hero world. Outlawed #1 nailed creating that excitement, even if there are some rough edges that will need to get smoothed out along the way.